Research to Support NS Coastal Communities

 St. Mary's University and Friends of Port Mouton Bay          

For Immediate Release: September 11, 2014

New Research Will Support Nova Scotia’s Coastal Communities

Saint Mary’s University and Friends of Port Mouton Bay will be working together over the coming six years, along with other partners in the new OceanCanada initiative, to improve the social, economic and environmental situation of Canada’s oceans, coasts, and coastal communities. A major part of the research will take place in Nova Scotia, where Saint Mary’s University and Friends of Port Mouton Bay, along with others in the project, will study the vision, goals and challenges faced by coastal communities, and explore their future options. The research will draw on the experiences of Port Mouton Bay, and will be extending the knowledge acquired to other communities locally and across the country.

Darlene Norman, of Friends of Port Mouton Bay, says: “We expect our involvement in this OceanCanada project will lead to important results not only for our community but also for others in Atlantic Canada and on Canada’s Arctic and Pacific coasts. Community organizations such as ours connect closely with our local fishers and other users of the ocean, such as tourism operators. They bring a vast range of knowledge to the table, which is crucial to success in our research partnerships with universities and government.”
ony Charles of Saint Mary’s University adds: “For a university professor, working closely with local communities is very rewarding. It’s also very productive – we get results that can only come by bringing together communities and universities, along with government, NGOs and economic sectors like the fishery. I expect the same will happen with OceanCanada, as we work together to keep our oceans and coasts healthy and productive.”

In addition to his role in OceanCanada, Dr. Charles leads the Community Conservation Research Network, an international project that is based at Saint Mary’s and is working with local communities around the world to help resolve environmental challenges (www.CommunityConservation.Net). Dr. Charles notes that the projects will connect together to use global experiences in addressing social, economic and environmental needs of Canada’s coastal communities. Both projects are funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Port Mouton Bay, on the scenic South Shore of Nova Scotia, is a large bay with islands, numerous beaches, wharves and tourism facilities. The commercial fishery, especially lobster, and tourism are the primary economic activities in the area. Friends of Port Mouton Bay have been committed to protecting the ecological integrity of the bay for the past eight years through ongoing community participation in scientific research and monitoring.

Saint Mary’s University, one of Canada’s oldest universities, has a strong tradition of accessibility and community engagement, as well as a rapidly growing range of research activities, including many dealing with oceans, coasts and coastal communities. Saint Mary’s is home to the School of the Environment, the Gorsebrook Research Institute for Atlantic Canada Studies, and the Sobey School of Business.

Darlene Norman
Friends of Port Mouton Bay
902 683-2530

Dr. Tony Charles
Saint Mary’s University
902 420-5732